How often does the chemical fume hood in my laboratory need to be tested?

All chemical fume hoods must be tested annually. At the time of testing, a label is placed on the chemical fume hood indicating the day in which it was last tested as well as the date in which testing is required. Contact EHS if your chemical fume hood is in need of testing.

Can I use my chemical fume hood that is not operating properly?

No, as laboratory personnel who use a chemical fume hood that operates outside the range of 80 to 120 fpm at a sash height of 18 inches (marked by maximum sash height sticker) may be exposed to harmful chemical vapors. Contact EHS and do not use the chemical fume hood until it has been repaired.

How often is the emergency shower and the eyewash in my laboratory tested?

EHS tests showers and eyewashes every six months in laboratory areas to certify that water pressure and flow rate are within acceptable parameters.

In addition, departments are required to flush safety showers and eyewashes every two weeks to ensure that there is a flushing fluid supply at the head of the device and to clear the supply line of any sediment build-up that could prevent fluid from being delivered and to minimize microbial contamination due to sitting water. Routine flushing must be recorded on the Inspection Tag attached to the equipment. Contact your department’s Unit Safety Liaison for more information.

What containers are appropriate for hazardous waste and where do I get these containers?

All hazardous waste containers must be compatible with the materials they are intended to store, must have a cap or lid that is able to be tightly sealed, and must be labeled with the complete chemical name and the words “Hazardous Waste.” Do not use food containers, pharmaceutical containers, flasks, bins, or other open top containers.

EHS provides 5-gallon polyethylene containers for the disposal of corrosive, organic, inorganic, and flammable wastes. Additional container sizes made of various chemical resistant materials may be available or provided upon request.

EHS recommends using empty chemical containers that are generated in the laboratory to accumulate hazardous waste. If you choose to use an existing chemical container, please remove or completely deface the chemical label and replace it with a label that correctly identifies the waste contents. Please be sure that the chemicals are compatible with the container’s material(s) and that the container has a properly fitted cap or lid that is capable of being tightly sealed. Waste stored in containers that does not meet these requirements will not be removed from your laboratory until you have met these re-use requirements.

How do I dispose of hazardous chemical waste?

  • Select a waste container that has a tight fitting screw cap or lid, and is compatible with the waste it will contain. If you do not have the correct waste container, contact EHS for assistance.
  • Label the container with  the complete chemical name of the waste.  Do not use abbreviations, trade names, chemical formulas, or chemical structures. If the waste is a mixture of chemicals, list each component and their relative concentrations. EHS provides Hazardous Waste labels upon request.
  • Place the labeled container in the satellite accumulation area located in the laboratory or in the adjacent support suite. Satellite accumulation areas are marked bins provide by EHS.
  • Chemical waste containers should be considered full when the container is 90% full. When a waste container is determined to be full, write the date on the container and place it in the Satellite Accumulation Area.
  • EHS collects waste placed in Satellite Accumulation Areas during weekly rounds. You can also contact EHS to arrange a special pickup if necessary.

For additional information, refer to the Laboratory Safety Manual or contact EHS.